2nd April 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
WP players laud IGT Pro Tour Cape launch
CAPE TOWN, 2 April 2015 – The IGT Pro Tour is poised to hit a new milestone when the IGT Pro Tour Cape debuts with its first 54-hole event at the Metropolitan Golf Club on 13 April 2015.
The country’s premier development Tour is already well established in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and 10-tournament expansion into the Western Cape will give aspirant professionals an unprecedented 64-event schedule this year.
Former professionals and IGT Pro Tour Cape managing partners Thomas Lovett and Glenn Hurter believe the tried and tested recipe of the IGT Pro Tour is well suited to the Western Cape.
“We share in the IGT Pro Tour philosophy that you crawl, before you walk, before you run,” Lovett said.
“We are launching between April and November and we are hopeful to add two more events to the schedule towards the end of the season.
“Realistically, we can only effectively operate seasonally due to the great influx of local and international tourists between November and March to the Western Province, but we aim to start small and fill up the weeks between April and November.”
The 10 events on the 2015 IGT Pro Tour Cape schedule will alternatively be hosted by Metropolitan, Durbanville, Milnerton, Kuilsriver, Atlantic Beach, Westlake and Mowbray Golf Clubs. All the events will be 54-hole tournaments with a 36-hole cut.
“Eight of our events will carry guaranteed first place prize money of R12,000 each, thanks to the incredible support of our sponsor, The House of Machines, and the fields will be limited to 60 entries,” Lovett said.
“The winner’s cheques in our two other events – the Mowbray Classic in July and Atlantic Beach Challenge in September – will be worth R20,000 each and the field size will be increased to 120 players.
“We are really thankful to have the support of The House of Machines and the host courses, who are equally committed to getting the IGT Pro Tour Cape off the ground and we are just incredibly excited to get this show on the road.”
Western Province’s Matthew Kent and brothers Cameron and Philip Esau have been competing on the IGT Pro Tour Gauteng and were among the first players to sign up for the inaugural event.
“I ran up a lot of miles with the return trips to Johannesburg last year to compete on the IGT Tour Gauteng, so it’s great news that we will be able to compete at home,” said Kent.
“I was out of competitive golf for a long time and I had my first taste of Qualifying School in January.
“The standard is incredibly high and you have to be able to produce your best week at Q-school. You need a lot of tournament experience to get ready, but I only played eight or nine events.
“This year I want to play at least 20, so I am stoked to have 10 events at home to compete in.”
The Esau brothers, both graduates of the South African Golf Development Board, are equally pleased about the IGT Pro Tour Cape launch.
“Cameron and I played in Gauteng and it was a very expensive exercise for my dad,” said amateur Philip Esau. “The experience was fantastic though, especially for me, and we are both really excited about the new IGT Pro Tour Cape.
“Hopefully some of the Sunshine Tour pros will also come to play in the off season, but I hope to see a lot of amateurs give the Tour a go. I found competing against the pros in Gauteng was great for my game, because I learned how to handle pressure.”
Hurter said first-hand experience in the pro ranks inspired him and Lovett to embrace the challenge of expanding the IGT Pro Tour to the Western Cape.
“It is really tough to transition from the amateur circuit into the pro ranks, and we both saw and experienced the benefits of the IGT Pro Tour,” Hurter said.
“It serves a very real and important function in preparing young players for the competitive environment on the paid circuit and Thomas and I both experienced its value.
“South Africa has a vast amount of talented golfers and to be able to offer players from the Western Province, Southern Cape, Boland, the West Coast and even the Karoo the same service as their peers enjoy in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal is very rewarding and exciting.
2015 IGT PRO TOUR CAPE SCHEDULE
13-15 April at Metropolitan Golf Club
Atlantic Beach Classic
18-20 May at Atlantic Beach Golf Club
8-10 June at Milnerton Golf Club
22-24 June at Kuilsrivier Golf Club
13-15 July at Mowbray Golf Club
22-24 July at Westlake Golf Club
25-27 August at Durbanville Golf Club
Atlantic Beach Challenge
7-9 September at Atlantic Beach Golf Club
5-7 October at Kuilsriver Golf Club
16-18 November at Metropolitan Golf Club